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Parl panel to call Delhi top cop over gangrape issue

Parl panel to call Delhi top cop over gangrape issue
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A parliamentary committee, which examined the prevailing bus licencing system in Delhi in wake of the gangrape-cum-murder incident, has decided to summon Commissioner of Police (CP) Neeraj Kumar and transport ministry officials of the Centre and the state soon.

This will be third time Kumar will be summoned to appear before a parliamentary panel after the incident.

The meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, chaired by senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, also saw the members wondering how come the bus, in which the heinous incident took place, continued to ply on city roads despite having been penalised six times in past.

Sources said it was pointed that the bus was let off every time it was challaned.

Representatives of traffic police, which implment the law, and Delhi administration were found passing the buck on each other for this in the meeting.

While the argument of the traffic police was that it was absence of proper laws in Delhi that led to the court letting the bus off, the Delhi administration officials blamed it on the ‘inefficient handling of the chargesheet’ by the police that led to the situation.

Sources said Yechury stressed on the need for an autonomous authority having convergence of transport traffic police and road maintenance wing to overcome such problems.

Union Transport Ministry Secretary, Officials of Delhi Transport Department and various others, including those of NHAI, were called to today’s meeting, which saw MPs cutting across party lines expressing their anger over the prevailing bus licencing system in transport department describing it as ‘jungle raj’.

‘While issuing the licence is the responsibility of Delhi government, monitoring responsibility is with the Centre. It is a totally chaotic system in bus licensing department where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. It is a jungle raj,’ an MP reportedly said in the meeting.

It is understood that Yechury suggested the creation of any autonomous authority which would include state transport departmetns, traffic police, road maintenance organisations so that there is a greater degree of coordination among these agencies.

He also noted that it was the multiplicity of authority, which allows such people committing such irreguralities to get away with. The panel adopted three reports on eco-tourism in Darjeeling, rail safety and inland water. The next meeting of the panel will be held in seven or 10 days.


PROTESTERS OBSERVE BLACK DAY


With the chargesheet in the Delhi gangrape likely to be filed on Thursday, protesters at Jantar Mantar here observed a black day, accusing the police of dragging their feet. Braving the chill, many people, most of them college students, started joining others in their vigil at the 18th century observatory that has become the protest site since the horrific 16 December incident.

‘The police should speed up investigations,’ said Puneet Bakshi, one the protesters. Demanding capital punishment for the rapists, justice for the 23-year-old victim and stricter laws on crime against women, the crowd, though less in number, had high spirits. ‘Don’t go by our numbers but by our strength and determination. We want quick justice in this case and won’t stop agitating till the time we get it,’ said Bakshi, a BPO employee who was part of a group of 10 youngsters.

Rajesh Gangwar and Babu Singh, who have been on a hunger strike for days over the issue, spent another night at Jantar Mantar in biting cold as the city’s temperature dipped to 4.4 degree Celsius. Gangwar, from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, is on the 11th day of his fast. Babu Singh, from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, is on the day sixth of his fast.

Both are demanding immediate death sentences for the six accused in the gang-rape of the physiotherapy student who died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December. ‘Our blood pressure was normal last night. Some doctors came from RML (Ram Manohar Lohia) hospital and took our blood samples to check our sugar levels,’ Gangwar said. The protest spot continues to be heavily guarded with hundreds of police personnel present in riot gear.
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